Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Creative Cities: Intervention Models and Entrepreneurial Dynamics

Course unit code: 570106

Academic year: 2019-2020

Coordinator: Montserrat Pareja Eastaway

Department: Department of Economics

Credits: 2,5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 62.5


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture





-  Lecture with practical component





-  Group tutorial






Competences to be gained during study


CB6. Knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.


CB9. Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgements and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.


CG1. Capacity to plan a project based on an original idea in business or innovation, which can have its viability assessed. 


CE5. Capacity to apply idea-generation and creativity techniques to generate new business ideas or innovation processes within an organization.


CE7. Capacity to analyse policies that promote innovation, R&D and entrepreneurship in different regions, to be able to understand their impact in society. 





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The aim of this subject is to cover a broad range of theories and models related to the competitiveness of cities in a global world. From traditional theories to advanced reflections, these lectures have been designed to provide a framework of analysis of the urban developments and strategies that improve the competitiveness of cities.

The objectives of the subject are: 

— To acquire the knowledge forming the basis of original thinking in the development or application of ideas, typically in a research context.

— To acquire the capacity to apply the acquired knowledge to problem-solving in new or relatively unknown environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to the field of study.

— To improve the student’s capacity to communicate conclusions, judgements and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.

— To focus on the ability to transfer knowledge to the generation of proposals for the analysis of urban practices.

— To strengthen the ability to adopt suggestions for improvement deriving from short and effective presentations of working projects.

— To reinforce the ability to design and analyse the basic elements and consequences of certain practices associated to the improvement of competitiveness, creativity and knowledge in the city.

— To understand the analytical framework used to reflect on the evolution of urban strategies used to improve competitiveness in European cities.

— To identify the relevance of a local embedding for any initiative oriented to the promotion of a creative economy.

Cities are increasingly competing in a globalized world. The decline in manufacturing and economic restructuring implies that urban performance progressively depends on certain sectors, which include knowledge and creative industries as their main source of added value. Attracting these sectors has become a key element of urban competitiveness and hence in the local political agenda. Urban regeneration processes linked to the creation of residential and business districts usually involve strategies oriented towards enhancing the economic performance of the city.

Students are able to review and understand the characteristics of the cultural/creative economy and indicate why it is sensitive to local embedding. Local capacity building and the particularities of the cultural economy represent a productive strategy towards improving urban attraction and performance.



Teaching blocks


1. Global world and globalised cities

*  The role of path dependency and new targets of urban development in the Global North and the Global South

2. From traditional models to innovation in urban development

*  a. Traditional location theories (Classical factors)
b. Top-down approaches to urban development: Clusters vs. districts
c. Soft factor theories
d. Networks and personal attachment

3. Creative, cultural and knowledge industries

*  From the creation of economic value to its peculiarities in terms of labour market, market orientation and success

4. Branding the city, urban attractiveness and placemaking

*  From the eventful city to bottom-up initiatives to create a sense of place

5. The use of culture in urban regeneration processes

*  From large projects (i.e. Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, MACBA in Barcelona, New Opera Hall in Miami) to tiny cultural initiatives (Ribermúsica)

6. The emergence of the smart city

*  The role of innovative urban models in current development models



Teaching methods and general organization


The methodology for Creative cities I is based on lectures and watching audiovisual material that deals with the key concepts mentioned in the teaching blocks, followed by discussions around selected topics. To do so, students should go in depth into five main readings that cover the theories and models analysed in class. These five readings are:

— Castells, M. (2010) Globalisation, Networking, Urbanisation: Reflections on the Spatial Dynamics of the Information Age. Urban Studies. vol. 47 no. 13, 2737-2745.

— Cohendet,P;  D.Grandadam & L. Simon (2010): The Anatomy of the Creative City, Industry and Innovation, 17:1, 91-111.

— Florida, R. ; C. Mellander and K. Stolarick (2008) Inside the black box of regional development—human capital, the creative class and tolerance. Journal of Economic Geography (2008) 8 (5): 615-649.

— Peck, J. (2005) Struggling with the creative class. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Volume 29, Issue 4, pages 740–770.

— Pratt, A. (2015) Resilience, locality and the cultural economy. City, culture and society. Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2015, pages 61–67.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Assessment consists of an individual project that studies the urban strategy and development of a particular city, including a presentation (20%) and a report (60%). Participation and attendance to lectures is worth 20% of the final grade. 



Examination-based assessment

Single final examination.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


Rutten, P. (2006) Culture and urban regeneration. Cultural activities and Creative industries. A driving force for urban regeneration. URBACT culture network.


Recurs electrònic  Enllaç

Sassen, S. (2001), The Global CityNew York, London, Tokyo, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.


Catàleg UB  Enllaç


Pareja-Eastaway,M. Chapain, C. and Mugnano, S. (2013) Successes and failures in city branding. En: Musterd, S. And Kóvacs, Z. (eds). Place-making and policies for competitive cities. London: Wiley-Blackwell. CL


Catàleg UB  Enllaç


Boschma, R. (2005). Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment. Regional Studies, 39(1), 61–74. doi:10.1080/0034340052000320887


Versió en línia  Enllaç
Catàleg UB   Enllaç

Porter, M.E. (2000), ‘Location, Competition, and Economic Development: Local Clusters in a Global Economy’, Economic Development Quarterly, 14, pp. 15-34.


Versió en línia  Enllaç

Siow-Kian Tan, Ding-Bang Luh b , Shiann-Far Kung (2014) A taxonomy of creative tourists in creative tourism. Tourism Management 42 (2014) 248e259


Versió en línia  Enllaç

Scott, A.J.  and M. Storper (2003), ‘Regions, globalization and development’, Regional Studies, Vol. 37.(6-7), pp. 579–593.


Versió en línia  Enllaç
Catàleg UB   Enllaç

Scott,A.J. (2004) Cultural –products industries and urban economic development. Prospects for Growth and Market Contestation in Global Context. Urban Affairs Review, 39(4), 461-490

Versió en línia  Enllaç